Is Rock Dead? Or is Internet Streaming the way of the Future?

terrestrial radio station

With the coming of the New Year came a discreet transition on the Windsor-Detroit airwaves. What was previously broadcasted as Windsor’s 100.7 The Rock began broadcasting as 100.7 The Ticket ‘Lite FM’ offering sports news. Not only that, but Detroit’s 93.1 Doug FM recently transitioned into NASH FM broadcasting only country hits. Both of these channels previously played forms of alternative, classic and new rock. The Rock is still available for listening via online streaming, but it’s almost as if Doug FM just fell off the face of the earth.

This leaves me questioning; is this a sign of a shift in genre popularity, or a shift in listening trends from terrestrial to internet streaming.

Contrary to popular belief, the Nielsen Music 360 report for 2013 states that 61% of Canadian’s tune into traditional radio to discover new music. Satellite radio only makes up for 9% of new music discovered, but online music video resources such as YouTube and Vevo account for 27% of music discovery.

This could mean that consumers are turning to digital music streaming for more control over their music consumption as these platforms offer suggested videos based on what was previously viewed, and the listener has control over what is played and when.

This could also mean that consumers are enjoying the bubbly ‘pop music’ content that is heavily promoted on these online platforms as well as through many terrestrial radio stations.  Traditional radio has understandably shifted their focus from offering the ‘newest’ in music to the music that is most in demand by listeners. This would explain the shift of 100.7 The Rock to online streaming, and the total disappearance of Doug FM – leaving very little room for old-school rockers on the terrestrial airwaves.

Do you think these station transitions are a simply a sign of digital adoption, or a sign of the slow death of rock and roll as we know it?

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